Singapore – While Covid-19 has disrupted the economy and livelihoods, many Singaporeans have stepped forward and shown strong community spirit, according to a report on how the public sector has fared across various areas of national interest.
Ministry of Finance (MOF) released its biennial Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR) report on Thursday (Nov 26), highlighting several key themes such as recognising the Singaporean effort in battling the pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions to our economy, livelihoods, and way of life,” noted the report. “However, it has also fostered a strong spirit of care, cohesion, and active citizenry in our society.” The report illustrated how individuals, households, businesses and the community have stepped forward to assist the government’s Covid-19 response efforts.
Many from the public showcased the kampung spirit (a sense of camaraderie and understanding among neighbourhood households) as they supported national campaigns in the fight against the virus.
According to the report, “a strong gotong royang spirit was present when more than 28,000 grassroots, public service, and citizen volunteers stepped forward to assist in the nationwide mask collection exercises. A total of 13.2 million masks were distributed to residents at the Community Clubs and Centres (CCs) as well as the Residents’ Committee Centres, with masks delivered to vulnerable residents who were frail or immobile.”
Through the SGUnited portal alone, more than 13,000 Singaporeans signed up as volunteers to help in any way they could.
An economic crisis did not stop many from extending financial assistance to those in need. A total of S$90 million was donated to various community platforms from January to May 2020, almost the same amount as the donations received in 2019 by the organisations.
Meanwhile, hundreds of general practitioner clinics partnered with the government through the Public Health Preparedness Clinics scheme to identify infected cases and provide subsidised treatment for patients with respiratory symptoms.
The report also highlighted how specific sectors such as the aviation industry, operated flights to bring Singaporeans home. Consequently, more than 500 private hire car and taxi drivers volunteered to convey clinically well people suspected of having COVID-19 to hospitals.
As the country continues its ongoing battle with the pandemic, the recap of past efforts mentioned by the report confirms the community spirit among Singaporeans.
“The road to recovery will be long and bumpy,” said the report. “However, the solidarity and strong spirit of contribution and partnership we have witnessed will ensure we remain resilient and continue to look after one another in the journey ahead.”